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Relationships between precipitation, soil water and groundwater at Chongling catchment with the typical vegetation cover in the Taihang mountainous region, China

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Song, X. F., Wang, P., Yu, J. J., Liu, X., Liu, J. R., Yuan R. Q.
Journal:Environmental Earth Sciences
Keywords:evaporation, groundwater, infiltration, leaf-area index, north china, plain, precipitation, shallow groundwater, soil water, stable isotopes, stable-isotope, sustainability, taihang mountainous, TEMPERATURE, transpiration, vegetation

Vegetation cover plays an important role in the process of evaporation and infiltration. To explore the relationships between precipitation, soil water and groundwater in Taihang mountainous region, China, precipitation, soil water and water table were observed from 2004 to 2006, and precipitation, soil water and groundwater were sampled in 2004 and 2005 for oxygen-18 and deuterium analysis at Chongling catchment. The soil water was sampled at three sites covered by grass (Carex humilis and Carex lanceolata), acacia and arborvitae respectively. Precipitation is mainly concentrated in rainy seasons and has no significant spatial variance in study area. The stable isotopic compositions are enriched in precipitation and soil water due to the evaporation. The analysis of soil water potential and isotopic profiles shows that evaporation of soil water under arborvitae cover is weaker than under grass and acacia, while soil water evaporation under grass and acacia showed no significant difference. Both delta(18)O profiles and soil water potential dynamics reveal that the soil under acacia allows the most rapid infiltration rate, which may be related to preferential flow. In the process of infiltration after a rainstorm, antecedent water still takes up over 30% of water in the topsoil. The soil water between depths of 0-115 cm under grass has a residence time of about 20 days in the rainy season. Groundwater recharge from precipitation mainly occurs in the rainy season, especially when rainstorms or successive heavy rain events happen.

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